After reading the article “Professor: Wind projects could boost Maine’s economy” in the Jan. 23 Portland Press Herald, I do not understand why the University of Maine has not devoted more time and money from grants to further developing tidal power as an energy source.

The university has spent a tremendous amount of effort to promote wind energy, which is not nearly as efficient as, and much more costly than, tidal energy.

The $20 billion effort to build a wind farm 20 miles offshore, which professor Habib Dagher is proposing, needs greater thought. Half of this $20 billion would produce many more kilowatts if put toward tidal energy rather than wind farms. Any wind power development will have to be subsidized by Maine taxpayers and electric ratepayers for the next few decades.

Wind energy requires very expensive large towers on land, or platforms on the ocean, to support the turbines. If the proposed wind farm is 20 miles offshore, it will require laying undersea water cables to shore, another large construction expense. Wind does not blow consistently, and many times not at all.

Tidal power, on the other hand, relies on the rising and falling of the tides, which has been happening daily and consistently since the Earth began. Tidal-powered turbines are far more reliable than wind-powered turbines.

Tidal turbines are economical to maintain once installed under water, and the electricity output is completely predictable. The tremendous force that the water exerts compared to wind reduces the size of tidal turbines.

Tidal turbines placed on the ocean floor do not interfere with shipping lanes. Turbines could also be placed in Maine’s major rivers without obstructing river traffic.

I believe that our governor, legislators and Maine citizens should carefully weigh the merits of each system.

Fernand LaRochelle

retired mechanical engineer


State coyote control policy takes grave toll on pet dogs

First of all, I would like to say to all folks who have lost their pet dogs that my heart goes out to them. It’s all due to hunters mistakenly shooting at what they believe is a coyote.

The problem lies with state officials. They believe in and encourage the killing of coyotes because they think that coyotes are to blame for the low numbers of the deer herd.

This mentality has been passed down since the coyotes first arrived in Maine years ago.

Coyotes have been known to control their own population depending on the abundance of the animals that they live on, usually small rodents, such as field mice, and others. So some hunters think that killing a coyote is necessary and the right thing to do to help the deer.

The state has declared open season on coyotes, which means they can be hunted year round.

This is a very bad idea because you cannot carry a deer rifle in the woods of Maine outside of big game seasons. Therefore, hunters will carry small-caliber rifles, which are more than likely to wound coyotes and dogs. This was the case with the dog that was shot in York, which died in the arms of its owners.

I have a dog, and I can’t begin to imagine how painful that must have been to endure. I’m sure hunters — I’m one, too — aren’t happy to discover that they’ve shot someone’s pet.

But I place the blame on the state for its shortsightedness. How many more dogs have to die before something is done to address this problem?

Pete Gendreau

aka Soaring Hawk


Barack Obama fails Rotary, presidential fitness tests

I got a chuckle from William J. Leffler II’s recent letter (“GOP candidates couldn’t make it into the Rotary,” Jan. 26).

He cited the Rotary Four Way Test (“Is it the truth? Is it fair to all concerned? Will it build good will and better friendships? Will it be beneficial to all concerned?”) to summarily disqualify all the Republican presidential candidates from both Rotary Club membership and the U.S. presidency.

But he speeds through a major intersection, looking only to the right to make sure the road is clear. Let’s also look left to see how the Democratic presidential candidate measures up.

Is he truthful? Well, he “didn’t know” that Jeremiah Wright is a racist hatemonger, or that William Ayers is a terrorist.

He said the government health care takeover would reduce costs.

He claims that he created umpteen million jobs (but of course the real unemployment rate is still stuck at 15 percent). His other prevarications are legion and well known.

Lamentably, the Democratic candidate fails the truth test.

Fairness to all? Let’s see.

Raise taxes on “millionaires” making more than one-fifth of a million dollars annually; fund the hydraheaded ACORN and its descendants; fund government pensions that double the benefits of private pensions; “redistribute” wealth, i.e., exempt half the population from income tax and take the costs from the other half.

Nope, he also fails the fairness test.

Good will and benefit to all concerned? By pitting some parts of the population against others? By doubling the national debt and living on borrowed money? By funding Solyndra knowing it was a bad “investment”? By courting cultural divisiveness?

No good will in that, and it certainly doesn’t benefit anyone.

So, surprise of surprises: The Four Way Test also excludes the Democratic candidate from either the Rotary Club or the U.S. presidency.

Tea, anyone?

Paul S. Bachorik


Paterno’s inaction clouds his legacy of achievement

Sure, Joe Paterno won hundreds of college football games and coached many All-American players.

Unfortunately, he looked the other way, knowing his assistant coach had been accused of raping multiple young boys. Let us look at the full picture.

Ed Reagan


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